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Protestors march across the Brooklyn Bridge holding a sign to "tax the rich" to demand funding for excluded workers in the New York State budget on March 5, 2021 in New York City. The march led by undocumented workers and those recently released from incarceration. Many of these excluded workers have been unable to access unemployment benefits, stimulus checks, and other economic assistance programs intended to help working families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis. (Photo:

Protestors march across the Brooklyn Bridge holding a sign to "tax the rich" to demand funding for excluded workers in the New York State budget on March 5, 2021 in New York City. (Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images)

Nearly 3 in 4 New Yorkers Favor Taxing the Rich to Austerity: Poll

Survey shows that voters across political spectrum prefer raising taxes on state's wealthy to cutting essential services and key public programs.

Jon Queally

Nearly 3 out of 4 voters in New York would prefer taxes on the rich and corporations over new budget austerity that would see vital public services and programs slashed, according to a poll released Friday.

The survey, conducted by Data for Progress, a left-leaning polling and analysis group, found that while the recently passed  "American Rescue Plan"—which provided far-reaching and direct federal assistance and aid to individiduals, local communities, and social programs—is one of the most popular pieces of legislation among the U.S. public in "modern memory," New Yorkers on a state level "recognize that in this time of need, the wealthy should pay more in taxes and the state should support those who need help the most."

Overall, the poll showed that 73% percent of New Yorkers would like to patch the state's projected revenue shortfall in the state by taxing the rich—not further austerity measures like cutting public services, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Along ideological lines, the poll showed that 66% of Republicans, 64% of Independents, and 81% of Democrats "favor a wealth tax over cuts to health care, education, and other public services."

The survey, according to a Data for Progress explainer, specifically "tested the popularity of initiatives that provide state-funded housing assistance to homeless New Yorkers, and state-funded treatment to those suffering from opioid use disorder (OUD)." What it found was that New Yorkers across the state—and from across the political divide of Democratic, Independent, and Republican voters—prefer raising taxes on the wealthy over cutting those essential services.

In a separate section of the survey devoted to possible ways that increased taxes on the wealthy could be used to patch the state budget, respondents were shown specific proposals of how increased taxes on inherited estates, billionaire wealth, and large corporatations could be levied and how much revenue they might raise. In response, 83% of Democrats, 61% of Independents, and even 53% of Republican voters supported such measures overall.

The poll surveyed 669 likely New York voters from March 13 to March 21 and has a margin of error ±4 percentage points.

Correction: This story has been updated to accurately describe who conducted the polling.


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